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Yankees Closer Rivera Becomes First Unanimous Choice For The Baseball’s Hall Of Fame

MLB News No one – not Babe Ruth, not Willie Mays – was elected unanimously to baseball’s Hall of Fame. Not until Mariano Rivera. The former New York Yankees...

MLB News

No one – not Babe Ruth, not Willie Mays – was elected unanimously to baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Not until Mariano Rivera.

The former New York Yankees closer, the best the game has ever seen, earned a place on all 425 ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, ending this weird tradition of somehow denying one of the game’s great’s a unanimous vote.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday night that Rivera, pitchers Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina and outfielder Edgar Martinez, will be part of the Class of 2019 in Cooperstown, New York this summer. Halladay was a two-time Cy Young Award winner and his enshrinement will be posthumous – he died in a plane crash in 2017. This group joins reliever Lee Smith and outfielder Harold Baines, who were previously chosen for induction by the Today’s Game Era Committee.

Hall of Fame voters had historically been opposed to voting in relief pitchers, though they added Trevor Hoffman a year ago. Rivera, however, was always considered a first-ballot choice, so dominant was he on the mound.

He helped the Yankees win four World Series titles between 1996-2000 and another after that. He retired as the all-time leader in saves (652), was the World Series MVP in 1999 and was named an All-Star 13 times in 19 seasons.

“This was just beyond my imagination,” Rivera said during a conference call with reporters. “Just to be considered a Hall of Famer is an honor, but to be unanimous is just amazing.”

Amazing? Maybe. But not as amazing as his lengthy and distinguished career.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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